My January exhibition in Sherwood Park, Alberta led to a new opportunity, with an invitation to present a professional development talk and webinar for Visual Arts Alberta - CARFAC. An opportunity to share my knowledge and speak to artists about how I building a career as a Canadian Visual Artist. This trip also presented the opportunity to spend some time in the city and in the galleries on the famous 124th street. Settle in for my Edmonton edition of Art and The City.
Day 1: I spent some time at the immense Commonwealth Community Rec Centre touring the training facilities and checking out the public art. The facility provides turf, court, and fitness facilities for many sports teams including the Edmonton Eskimos. The public art mural, Afghan Mural, created by a local arts collective features the many patterns of Afghan blankets. Later I visited Strathcona County Art Gallery @501, which hosted my solo exhibition earlier this year. Their new show celebrating Canada150, is a seemingly humorous look at the history of Canada, but at closer examination the show tells the true and sometimes painful stories of our combined history. Winnipeg artist Diana Thorneycroft, builds meticulous dioramas, photographs them and then manipulates the photos, setting the dioramas against backgrounds of well known Group Of Seven paintings. Day one complete, day two awaits.
Days 2&3: Walking the talk and talking the walk. Yesterday my course was set for 124 Street in Edmonton. 124 Street is Edmonton’s premier destination and home to the city’s finest commercial art galleries. I walked and talked and experienced a variety of art from sculpture to painting, Inuit arts and crafts to iconic and colourful landscapes. Stand outs on this strip were; Bearclaw Gallery, The Front Gallery and Peter Robertson gallery, where there is an equal dose of traditional, contemporary, modern and indigenous represented in a refreshing light. I spent the evening with two Edmonton artists touring their quirky museum-like home and experiencing Green Onion cakes at the local Vietnamese haunt. Today I pulled on my red coat, laced up my new sneakers and Ubered over to Visual Arts Alberta - CARFAC, where I presented a talk for the membership, on and off-line. Artist as Entreprenuer: How I built my career as a Canadian Visual Artist. A long and productive couple days end with a glass of red and a moment to reflect and prepare for the next road trip, driving home through Jasper and those beautiful Rocky Mountains. Next stop, Vancouver Island, back to the studio, new canvas and new ideas are flowing.